In Detroit, Nearly 50% Unemployment Rate?
Officially, Detroit's unemployment rate is roughly 30%. Today's Detroit News suggests that nearly half of this city's eligible workers may be unemployed – mainly because so many have simply given up looking for jobs. Here are some key takeaways:
Mayor Dave Bing recently raised eyebrows when he said what many already suspected: that the city's official unemployment rate was as believable as Santa Claus. In Washington for a jobs forum earlier this month, he estimated it was "closer to 50 percent." ...
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that for the year that ended in September, Michigan's official unemployment rate was 12.6 percent. Using the broadest definition of unemployment, the state unemployment rate was 20.9 percent, or 66 percent higher than the official rate. Since Detroit's official rate for October was 27 percent, that broader rate pushes the city's rate to as high as 44.8 percent.
It's another reminder that Detroit, and Michigan, are enduring some of the most severe effects of the nation's economic crisis. The problems may deepen, since many of the unemployed lack basic skills - like reading - to qualify for the kinds of high-tech jobs that officials are working vigorously to attract.